Welcome to the Hard Rock Hotel Orlando where you can live like rock 'n' roll royalty. Inspired by classic rock music and the architecture of California missions, this palm tree-lined property features rock memorabilia everywhere you turn, show-stopping service, a swimming pool with underwater music and other electrifying accommodations and amenities that will have you feeling like a rock star.
As one of Universal Orlando Resort's three Premier hotel options, staying here grants you VIP access with free Universal Express Unlimited, Early Park Admission, priority seating at select restaurants, complimentary transportation to the theme parks and Universal CityWalk, resort-wide charging privileges with your room key and complimentary delivery of merchandise purchased throughout the resort to your hotel. If these benefits strike a chord with you, then keep on reading, because we've compiled everything you need to know about the second oldest (but undoubtedly the boldest) hotel at Universal Orlando Resort.
Overview of Hard Rock Hotel Orlando
From the fresh ocean scent evocative of California beaches to the plush couches, recessed ceilings and wrought-iron fixtures, stepping into the lobby of the Hard Rock Hotel will make you feel like you've arrived at a lavish retreat exclusive to music's biggest names. (Speaking of, you won't be able to miss the massive portraits of some of rock's biggest legends behind the check-in and concierge desks.) Once you get your room key and head to the elevators, you'll make your way to one of the hotel's 650 luxurious guest rooms (which include 29 suites) — all of which offer complimentary Wi-Fi and 100-percent cotton bed linens.
Check-in starts at 4 p.m. which leaves you with plenty of time to dine at one of the hotel's restaurants, check out the 12,000 square-foot pool at sunset or head on over to CityWalk. Check-out ends at 11 a.m. which means you can get in another fun day at the parks before you head home! (Bell services will hoppily store your luggage for free on your check-in and check-out days.)
Hard Rock Hotel Orlando Rooms
Every rockstar needs their beauty sleep. Get yours in one of four different types of guest rooms, or four different kinds of suites. All rooms feature modern amenities such as a flat-screen TV, Keurig coffee maker and mini-fridge. If you're feeling fancy, you can upgrade to a Rock Royalty room or select Rock Royalty suites on the hotel's exclusive seventh floor and enjoy additional perks and privileges, including access to the luxurious Rock Royalty lounge, personal concierge service and reduced prices on cabanas at the pool. For this blog, we're just going to focus on the standard guest rooms and suites which are just as stylish and sophisticated.
Ranging from 375 to 500 square feet, each standard room harmoniously blends comfort and style to make you feel like an A-list celebrity. The bathrooms in each room are incredibly spacious, offering a separate shower/tub and toilet area with an extra sink. Standard, Garden View and Pool View rooms all sleep up to five guests with two queen beds. Opt for a Garden View room to enjoy the stunning scenery just outside your window or choose a Pool View room that overlooks the centerpiece of the hotel, the fabulous swimming pool area. Deluxe Rooms come with either one king bed or two queen beds and even have extra living space where you'll find a pull-out sofa and adjoining desk area. As for the decor, each room features a neutral palette with pops of fuchsia while black-and-white images of rock royalty cover the walls.
If you're looking to spend your stay in ultimate rock 'n' roll luxury and amp up the space, book a suite — each of which ranges from 650 to a sprawling 2,000 square feet. Let your tadpoles live their musical dreams in a Future Rock Star Suite. The posh entryway features a counter to make drinks and a walk-in closet with plenty of space for the whole family's wardrobe. Tadpoles will love having a stylish room all to themselves complete with two twin beds, a flat-panel TV, memorabilia from today's hottest artists and even a stage to perform before a wall of adoring fans! Their room connects via a door to the king bedroom where grown-ups get to relax in quiet comfort. The master bedroom opens up to a living and entertainment area with a flat-panel TV and both bedrooms connect to a full-size bathroom that includes a double-sink vanity, shower and tub.
King Suites don't just offer a king bed, bonus entertainment area with a dining room table and pull-out sofa, but tons of variety, as well. Book a one-bedroom suite that sleeps four guests comfortably, a two-bedroom suite with a connecting Double Queen bedroom that accommodates up to nine guests with a rollaway or party like a rockstar and book a three-bedroom suite with two Double Queen bedrooms that accommodates up to 14 guests with rollaways! No matter which suite you book, each bedroom comes with its own private bathroom.
Can you believe the suites get even bigger?! Available as a one-bedroom option that comfortably sleeps up to four frogs with a king bed and a sofa bed or a two-bedroom option that sleeps up to nine with a rollaway and a connecting two Queen bedroom, Hospitality Suites are designed to fit all your entertainment needs. Each suite includes a full dining room table, an oversized wet bar with service pantry and a sofa and features one bathroom per bedroom.
Lastly, we come to the king of all suites. The Graceland Suite is the stuff of legend. These jaw-dropping rooms include a master bedroom with a glass-encased double-sided fireplace, a master bathroom with an oversized tub, a WaterTile BodySpray marble shower and walk-in closet and a dining room complete with a baby grand piano where you might just compose the next big hit! Book a one-bedroom suite with a solo King bed or add a connecting bedroom with two Queen beds to comfortably accommodate five frogs (or seven with a rollaway). A connecting bedroom will also come with its own bathroom.
Transportation at Hard Rock Hotel
As one of the hotels located on Universal's main property, it's super easy to hop around! All Premier hotels offer complimentary transportation via shuttle bus and water taxi to the hub at Universal CityWalk for quick access to both Universal Studios Florida and Universal's Islands of Adventure. If you're heading to Universal's Volcano Bay, an additional bus route connects Premier hotels to the resort's water theme park. Walking paths also connect Premier hotels to CityWalk, Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure and other hotels on the resort's main property.
If you're traveling in a car, overnight guest parking is $28 plus tax per vehicle, per night for self-parking and $37 plus tax per vehicle, per night for valet. If you're just visiting the resort and not checking in, it's complimentary to park for under five minutes, $10 plus tax per vehicle for five to 10 minutes and $45 per vehicle if you're staying for longer than half an hour. If you want to park here for the whole day, it's $30 plus tax per vehicle for self-parking and $42 plus tax per vehicle, per night for valet.
Hard Rock Hotel Orlando Restaurants & Lounges
From casual fare and comfort food to world-renowned steaks and seafood, Hard Rock Hotel Orlando has a multitude of dining options that are sure to make your taste buds sing!
This hot local hangout is home to my favorite breakfast buffet on Universal Orlando property. With an omelet station where you can build your own or try one of the chef's original creations, a griddle station where you can choose from different ingredients for fresh waffles or French toast (order the Elvis French Toast and "thank me, thank me very much" later), freshly baked pastries, fresh-cut fruits, scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes, sausage and bacon, biscuits and gravy and so much more, you can't go wrong starting your day here! Breakfast is also available a la carte, as are beverages including coffee, an assortment of teas, milk and a refreshing array of juices. (I always order the guava.) On Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., enjoy a live acoustic performance alongside the most important meal of the day!
While I can rave forever about the breakfast here, that's certainly not all this restaurant has to offer. Come on down for lunch and enjoy lighter fare, including flatbreads, salads, sandwiches and kitchen classics such as the Angus Burger or Spring Garden Pasta. The dinner menu includes those similar salads and main plates, as well as entrées such as skirt steak, roasted chicken and salmon. Gluten-free options such as Seafood Penne Pasta, Stir Fry Cauliflower "Rice" and Wagyu Flat Iron are also available, as are tadpole favorites such as grilled cheese sandwiches, mac and cheese and chicken tenders. Don't froget to save room for dessert with options such as Carrot Cake Cheesecake, Warm Apple Crostata, Bourbon Street Bread Pudding and The Kitchen Sink!
What's a kitchen without a liquor cabinet? Enjoy an impressive array of beers, wines and signature cocktails inspired by servers' and bartenders' personalities and passion for music.
One of the country's premier steak and seafood establishments, The Palm is the place for a superb meal in an uptown atmosphere. The extensive menu inspired by the best of Italian-American heritage features starters such as The Palm Meatball and Calamari Fritto Misto, salads such as the Mixed Green and Steakhouse Wedge, Tuscan Style steaks and chops such as Prime Ribeye and Center-Cut Filets, butcher's selections such as Dry Aged Porterhouse and Bone-in Filet, classic Italian dishes and seafood such as Chicken Parmigiana and Alaskan King Crab and family-style sides such as Black Truffle Gnocchi and Three-Cheese Au-Gratin Potatoes. Wash down your meal with one of the Palm Signature Classic Cocktails or a glass of one of the wines from their extensive collection, and don't froget to finish with a signature dessert and authentic Lavazza coffee. The attire here is resort or business-casual. (Smart-casual is also acceptable.) Look at the walls in between courses where you'll see caricatures of celebrities as a nod to the original Palm restaurant's roots in the newspaper district of Manhattan where famous cartoonists would often exchange drawings for their meals!
Emack & Bolio's Marketplace
Enjoy award-winning ice cream, smoothies and coffees, as well as grab-and-go breakfast, lunch and snack items at the resort's ice cream parlor. Aside from ice cream made from only the freshest ingredients available as a handcrafted sundae or candy cone, this Boston import located at the bottom of the spiral staircase serves freshly-made pastries, sandwiches, pizzas, salads and more. You can even grab ready-to-go cocktails, beer and wine here! Emack & Boilo's also proudly serves Starbucks coffee and custom coffee drinks all day long. Don't be surprised if you find yourself coming back here several times a day ...
If you're looking for a place to hang out, sip a cocktail and kick back, enter Velvet Bar, an undeniably cool lobby-level bar with a VIP vibe. Start or finish your night here and enjoy tasty bites such as Charcuterie and Cheese Boards, flatbreads, small plates such as an Onion Ring Tower and Korean Fried Chicken Sliders and desserts such as Triple Chocolate Pancakes (!!!). The bar also features an all-new cocktail menu and wine list and hosts nightly live entertainment to kick up the vibe even more.
No shirt? No shoes? No problem! This casual poolside hangout offers both restaurant and poolside service so you can order and enjoy frozen cocktails, fountain drinks, appetizers and more right from the comfort of your lounge chair! The lunch and dinner menu includes starters such as Chicken Tenders and Cheese Fries, salads such as Greek Quinoa and Chopped Chicken Caesar, sandwiches such as Philly Cheesesteaks and Nashville Hot Chicken, flatbreads such as Chipotle Chicken and Mozzarella, entrées such as Warm Italian Hoagies and Blackened Fish Tacos and desserts such as Funnel Cake Fries. There's also a tadpole menu with options such as Pepperoni Pizza and Mac & Cheese. If you need me, I'll be by the pool sipping my Pineapple Express ...
Amenities at Hard Rock Hotel Orlando
So, about that pool I've been referring to ... Yes, you're remembering correctly! This 12,000 square foot pool features an underwater sound system so you'll never miss a beat. It's also home to a 260-foot water slide, two hot tubs, a sand volleyball court and interactive fountains and a play area for the tadpoles. Tons of poolside activities are hosted throughout the day, such as ping pong tournaments, water balloon tosses, pool basketball, hula hoop contests, arts and crafts and so much more! (Check with the front desk upon arrival to find out what's hoppening during your stay.) The pool area also has some A-list-worthy cabanas available to rent — each equipped with a ceiling fan, plasma TV, refrigerator, wireless Internet and, of course, your own personal server to keep the drinks coming! Last but not least, this pool rocks out with Concert Nights and DJ Days on a seasonal basis. Even if you're not going to Volcano Bay during your visit, don't froget to bring your swimsuit!
Next to the pool, you'll find the hotel's game room, open from 8 a.m. to midnight each day. You can save the galaxy or drive 150 mph with tons of different arcade games.
If you want to stay in peak condition for those long days at the parks, stop by the bodyrock Fitness Center. This complimentary fitness center is the perfect place to refresh the mind, rejuvenate the body and reenergize the spirit — granting you an all-access pass to the latest in cardio fitness and circuit-training equipment such as treadmills, bicycles, elliptical cross trainers, a free weight area with dumbbells and bench, Cardio Theater, Stairmaster, steam and sauna rooms and locker facilities. A yoga junkie myself, I always request the free Rock Om yoga kits. These come with a yoga mat and three on-demand yoga videos available on the TV in your guest room. Oh, and remember those walking paths? They're perfect for picturesque walks or jogs around the beautifully landscaped grounds of the hotel.
Back in the lobby, visit the Rock Shop to elevate your wardrobe to superstar status. This bold boutique boasts an impressive collection of Hard Rock apparel, souvenirs, robes, sheets, cups, pins and more. Keep an eye out for authentic instruments used by legendary musicians and a glowing guitar light fixture overhead.
One of the more unique perks of this hotel is The Sound of Your Stay program. Music lovers, are you ready for this? tracks® lets you stream a celebrity-curated playlist to amplify your stay, picks® allows you to choose from a menu of 20 different Fender guitars that can be delivered to your room and wax offers you a Crosley turntable and your choice of 10 iconic records to tune into and experience.
Hard Rock Hotel Orlando also provides the following amenities:
- Audiovisual equipment
- Free wireless high-speed Internet access
- Catering and conference facilities
- Dry cleaning
- Room service available 24 hours a day
- Shoe shine
- Safes and safe deposit boxes
- On-site business center
- Mail services
- Airport and local transportation
- Renter car services
- Mobility scooter rentals
What to Consider Before Staying at Hard Rock Hotel Orlando
If you're looking to turn up the volume on your Universal Orlando vacation, then this is the hotel for you. The location cannot be beat! You're essentially a two-minute walk to the entrance of Universal Studios which is perfect for tadpoles who easily get tired out by the end of the day. The dining options are also stellar with one of the best breakfasts on property and menu items frogs and tadpoles alike are sure to love.
Of course, the biggest benefit of any Premier hotel is the free Universal Express Unlimited pass which is truly invaluable on any day at Universal Studios or Islands of Adventure. That being said, as a Premier hotel, it is one of the most expensive stays on property. A Universal Express Unlimited pass is a value of at least $129 per person, per day so you ultimately need to decide if the investment is worth the time saved (just like you would need to if you were purchasing the pass separately).
Overall, Hard Rock Hotel Orlando offers red carpet, celebrity treatment with both fun and relaxing ways for frogs and tadpoles alike to unwind. It's a hotel that hits all the right notes and is truly Grammy award-worthy.
Have you stayed at Hard Rock Hotel Orlando before? Do you think it deserves a standing ovation? Riff on down in the comments below.